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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Winged_Jedi, Jan 18, 2012.

Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza
  1. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Nothing wrong with your games, Reynar. The obvious point: our player base is much smaller than it was when you were last starting games. Odds are that this will change as we approach the new films, though new users tend to come looking to play Star Wars, at least at first.

    If I'm being picky, The Strangers is a touch vague. The abilities you mention are indistinguishable from standard superpowers. It reads like an everyman superhero game, except you've replaced pseudo-science with the supernatural: you've substituted "magic" for "mutation". But that isn't enough of a twist on the usual formula, because you're dispensing with everything associated with magic: the robes, the spellcasting, the institutions. So what difference does it make in practice? There's not enough information to tell me.
    Last edited by Winged_Jedi, Apr 21, 2013
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  2. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Actually, I am not sure if our player-base is smaller by now. If I look at The Others, Rebirth and Episode VII I got the feeling we got about 20 new players. But all of them have obviously come to play Star Wars. Your games are not Star Wars. The crowd once playing The Darker Tides, Sins of the Saints and stuff, therefore the players you were after . . . they are someplace else, or they simply do not know you well enough to join your games. Both are a bit vague (first does not even introduce the threat, second is hard to grab) and . . . AND you ran against Senate Aflame with Far Cry and against Episode 7 with The Strangers. We got kind of a blockbuster feeling around here, were players withdraw from the market of new games to concentrate on the "ONE BIG ONE" coming out.
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  3. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    It's X-Men without the X-Men.

    As far as "blockbusters" go, I don't think that's a thing; it's effective advertising and reputation, really. A recent glut of games have created OOC threads before they've actually had a single IC post, and as much as I hate that and as much as Ramza and I have tried to curb that trend (OOC threads used to be a permission-only thing), they act as effective advertising.

    We also don't really support new ideas or new games that well. We critique OPs, we psyche ourselves up for The Next Big Thing (TM and Copyright), we get so invested in a game before it even begins that we ignore good ideas that are going unnoticed. Everyone measures success the same way; there's no room for personal bests, it would seem.
  4. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    I don´t know if demonizing Big Games or the hype around them is the right path, to be honest. It is an incredible effort to provide a broad, tall game to players to experience and that effort deserves support and justifies the hype, if you ask me. They have always been the lifeblood of the community, as players have a chance there to play together in great numbers and experience the same story from multiple perspectives.

    Also some ideas are simply more attractive than others. Success is success. Measuring it is usually only opinion.

    But I believe having no No-SW boards anymore makes it especially hard to create original material nowadays. I dunno if I would launch SotS here today. I would feel like trying to make my game in a SW environment and that is probably what made things harder for Raynar, too.
  5. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    It's hard to put blame on one thing, really. One factor was probably the influx of new games and as a result of that, players (who all have busy schedules) had to choose between them without overloading themselves. As for the rest, I think it all comes down to personal taste.

    For me, I'm always looking out for a good, character-driven non-SW RPG. I'm really kicking myself for not being able to make up my mind on a character for Far Cry, but it is what it is. As for The Strangers, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm not a big magic and superpower person. But again, that's exactly my point. It all comes down to personal taste. And sometimes, you get lucky and are able to capture lightning in a bottle. Two recent examples of this are The Darker Tides and Sins of the Saints.
  6. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Part of the reason I haven't started a Stargate game is because I know everyone is being driven ragged trying to keep up with the recent glut of new games (partially my fault with Forgotten Ones and Rebirth I know).

    I believe that once things slow down a bit, more unique games can start drawing people in again. Though as Han29 points out...it is still very hit-and-miss. You never know, no matter how much you plan it, if people will like a game. Nature of the beast really.
  7. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    The NSWRPF was not particularly active pre-move, as you'll recall. I think it's got less to do with stigma and more to do with everyone just... making Star Wars games, probably because interest in the franchise hit an honest to god completely unexpected upswing after the whole "Oh, by the way, Episode VII" thing leaked. Combine those two and you get the apparent barrage of yellow tags. We could re-separate the boards if people think that would help but, honestly, I think it would just give us an NSWRPF ghost town.
  8. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    I'm not keen on dividing the boards yet again.

    And I wouldn't describe it as demonization, but rather a realistic understanding that it's big names and big games that utterly dominate the market. I think we should support smaller things more often.
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Whatwhatwhaaat? You're talking about making Dungeons and Dragons move house again? Do you know what it cost us in removalists' fees last time??? :D





    ...Mainly because I'd like to know what it cost, too! :D
  10. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    The Sins of the Sons, The Sins of the Fathers, The Darker Tides, Tides of Flame. All running when nswrpf shut down. Hm. I think it held four highly active games. Among them the biggest game and the oldest game of the old RP boards. I see why it happened. I see why someone thought it is necessary. I think nobody thinks we can and we should reverse it. But that should not keep us from the idea, that we might have a NSW problem right now.
  11. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Well, it might not have helped the situation three of those four games ended. But anyway, Raynar. You are still the topic here and yes, imho your games are good, but not exactly attractive around here, where 70% is SW-only and the other 30% have various different tastes. So if you wanna get into GMing FIRST avoid the heat-wave of big games and SECOND try to find a common ground with players before you go ahead with your game. Test the water, you know? Don´t jump in. GDG and INTEREST THREAD have a lot of potential.

    Oh and second game . . . going from a concept everybody loves (creepy-horror-investigation-in.wild-west) to one untested and yet done before around here (supernatural-contemporary-with-a-bit-x) was a bad idea. I bet you would have had players for the western.

    Have you PMed someone about your games before launch? Got a second opinion on it? I´d say a "must-do" nowadays. All successful GMs have done this since 2009. No, no joke. I mean it.
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  12. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    I didn't PM anyone for Rebirth. I did however discuss it at length over in the EUC, where I got the idea from (yes, it wasn't originally my idea, I adapted it into the game format).

    The point stands though, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion first.
    Last edited by Skywalker_T-65, Apr 22, 2013
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  13. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I concur, a second opinion is really, really important if you want a decent sized player base, and if possible, you want one that's as harsh as possible, or at least willing to be frank.

    Case in point, I don't get second opinions, and I'm accustomed to that correlating with a very small (If existant in the first place) player base. :p
    Last edited by Ramza, Apr 22, 2013
  14. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Playing devil's advocate, though, there's nothing inherently wrong with just going for it.
  15. Reynar_Tedros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2006
    star 6
    Me too. But it looks like my next attempt will be a character-driven SW RPG. With a lot more advertising, PMing, second guessing, resource forum cluttering, and "Hey look over here at what I'm making!"ing. :p
    Last edited by Reynar_Tedros, Apr 22, 2013
  16. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    I know it's ultimately your choice, but I'm going to keep hoping and pushing for the non-SW option. :p

    What happened to the western you were putting together? Is that pretty much on the back-burner for now?
  17. Reynar_Tedros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2006
    star 6
    I was just having trouble coming up with enough ideas to keep it interesting for more than a few pages. The modern setting felt like a much bigger playground and less of a restriction. As far as the vagueness of it, Peng pretty much hit the nail on the head. X-Men without the X-Men. I felt like calling them "superpowers" or "Mutant abilities" would've made it feel too much like a comic book game, which wasn't at all what I was going for. Peng has that market right now with Heroes. I was shooting for something more grounded, and calling it "magic" but without all the things you typically associate with it felt like it set the kind of tone I wanted it to.

    For example, a typical scene in a game like Heroes would be "Hey, I'm a superhero, I have a logo on my chest, there's a bad dude blowing stuff up in Egypt and I'm gonna go kick his ass and save the world."

    In The Strangers, what I was envisioning was something like "Yeah, I'm a nicotine addicted taxi driver with a wife and two kids, one of which needs a heart transplant and we're in debt up to our eyeballs. Oh, and I just found out I can become invisible and intangible, so now I'm seriously weighing the moral issues of whether or not I should use this new-found magic to provide for my family using less than legal methods." And then we go from there, following individual stories of how ordinary people cope with extraordinary things. Unfortunately it didn't stick.

    I never completely toss an idea though. If it doesn't work out at one time, who's to say it won't further on down the road? As far as the Western goes, I lost my enthusiasm for it fairly quickly, and I wasn't going to go through with something that I wasn't excited for myself. But never say never.
  18. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    So it's not Peng's Heroes, it's NBC's Heroes. I should think that, usually, such a story would find players. There have been a couple of previous attempts in the RPF's past that may be instructive, though I can't recall their names right now.

    Just going for it has this going for it: that it preserves the joy of total surprise when you check the forum and there's suddenly a brand spanking, utterly unheralded new game sitting there. That's always a pleasure.
    Penguinator likes this.
  19. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I think some games hardly need advertising, while some others do. And I believe Fin had a P
    point about bad timing ... the three new SW games really took away attention. Looking at the four or five usual lovers of Contemporary, I see clearly what they did that week.
    Penguinator likes this.
  20. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    Thank you. That means a lot to hear...if you call Intervention a "Big Game" that is. Your call if it is or not.




    Before Intervention and when Intervention first started the first few months, I always played smaller games (War of the Galaxies and Jedi Outcasts being exceptions) and was and still am a big supporter of them. Small games with a small focused loyal fan base are extremely fun and productive on many levels aside from the volume of posts. The New Dark Times and its sequels, which I all played with @greyjedi125, were small games and very fun to play with. The New Dark Times lasted 24 pages back in 2003...and created lasting friendships, greyjedi125 being a noticeable new found friendship from the game. I think smaller games---for a Game Master---gives you more freedom to try and work out various writing styles and characters and see which ones you like best (and more able to "fail" and restart more times within the game), whereas larger games, from a personal Game Master's point of view, have more expectations to provide a enjoyable and progressive experience to your players.

    @Penguinator and @Ramza, have we ever thought of making a "small games" or "new games" bubble tags (Library, OOG, NSWRPF, etc.) to help funnel more traffic to those games?

    From a Game Master's point of view, small games are excellent training grounds for the larger games if your not quite ready for multiple players, tags, etc that larger games have.
    Last edited by Bravo, Apr 30, 2013
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  21. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    It's pretty easy to make a bubble, but seeing as they're optional and done by the GM rather than the mods, the question is more "Would anyone use it?"
  22. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Yeah, this is a similar issue to the old "Why don't we have a Training Game (TM) in the RPF?" Every time we do, it's poorly-received and doesn't last very long.

    It'll sound a bit callous, but I honestly think if you start tagging games as "New", "Small", or "Training" it potentially does a disservice to some extent because you put labels on the people running or participating in those games - as either newbies, or smalltimers, or needing training.

    To me, large games vs. small games fundamentally come down to a difference in management. Large games take more of it, because you simply have more people to provide individual experiences to and make sure their needs and/or wants in the game are catered for. This is not just a matter of writing more as such. Having 10-15 people in a game means you have 10-15 plotlines to think about and 10-15 people to find ways for them to bash against each other or bash against the plot.
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  23. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    I'm learning that lesson the hard way...
  24. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Oh, it´s been some time since I posted here.

    Big Games. Always a topic. A surprise nobody has used the word "flagship" already. It´s actually more of a brand given to games in their early stages (when nobody knows how many players they will really have) instead of one given in their later stage (see Bravo´s post above - Intervention launched a long time ago, is it big? Nobody knows or cares anymore. Launch hype is long gone). I don´t think we have a definition for "Big Games" actually. Is it 10 player? Is it 20? 25? Above 30 and two GMs? I don´t know. Intervention got what? 12 players? 15? Episode VII has 20? But how many will it have in a few weeks? I actually saw games like "Rebirth", "The Others" and "Forgotten Ones" with such high posting numbers I assume they had equal numbers. So let´s say above 12 makes a "Big Game" or "Large Game" as Xany once classified it in an excellent article.

    12 players, hm. That is not a matter of quality! You have to be accessible for that many players. Big Games are broad narratives telling multiple-view-storylines. That is something actually impossible for some stories.Some stories simply are limited in scope, perspective and reach. But for huge galaxy wide events (or worldwide events like SotS) this works very well. It´s just . . . not everybody wants to make The Wire/Game of Thrones like games. Some prefer more focussed topics and do Dexter/Breaking Bad kinda stories, who focus on certain characters. That has big advantages, for I feel some of those games have a tremendous amount of love going into single characters. There is something intimate between GM and player if both concentrate on one story and see it blossom. I like that as a player, I do. Also all-in-all I prefer reading broad stories like The Forever War or ABYverse when I lurk.

    And even though right now broad narratives are high in demand, I wanna remind everybody how hungry you were to join the small games when Fin and Winged just yawned and spit out they take 5 players MAX and let the crowd fight for these five spots. Small Games by design, who dominated the market so to say . . . just doing a different kinda hype.

    Therefore I´d say Bravo is right about smaller games being a perfect training ground for GMs, but I also think they are quite often the better games. They are just not as popular in the short run, because less people know about them. But know what? If you wanna be popular, you should not post games in a forum. If you wanna have fun writing awesome stories with awesome people . . . that might be the right spot.
  25. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    A very valid point and one I agree with.

    What if we---trying not to create "division," but I realize it may do that as a by-produce to try to help----created a bubble that only Mods can attach and detach, that labels games as "new". Example being, I remember in the RPF Rewards on the old boards that in order for a game to be nominated, it had to be running for at least 3 months. What if we bubbled all new games, regardless of their GMs, player number, hype, or activity, as "new" for its first standard 3 months (90 days)? That would allow, for instant, new players or players looking for new games to categorize between small / large games and (or) games with a young storyline to join. That would, I think, increase traffic to the smaller games.


    Intervention has 11 active players and 1 player on Extended Leave, making 12 players on roster (including myself). Our max count was 14 active players and 2 Extended Leave players (16 players total) back in 2010 or 2011.

    Last rough count before The Move, Intervention had a total player count of 33 come and go (some stay) since 2009, possibly one or two more beyond that (that I hadn't counted yet). With our new additions, I would say Intervention has roughly 38 players total walk through our doors since June of 2009, with a 1 to 2 player difference up or down with that number (most likely closer to 39 or 40 players total). Yes, that's a lot of players and yes, that's a lot of work and a lot of different storylines to account for. But I couldn't of done it without the game's staff, which helped the game survive and grow for all this time. The game's staff included/includes: @greyjedi125 (former Co-Game Master / Co-Founder), @Mitth_Fisto (current Assistant Game Master), @Sith-I-5 (current Co-Game Master), @Coffee_Ninja (current Force Game Master), and @CPL_Macja (current Librarian / Artist Game Master). In my experience, big games survive off of a dedicated staff that surrounds the Game Master. It would of been impossible to get Intervention where it is today without the staff around me.

    With all of that said, in almost 4 years of game play in real life, Intervention has spanned a month to 2 months worth of game play in game time. Kind of amazing, isn't it?
    Last edited by Bravo, May 1, 2013
Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza